Grassley discusses E15 timing, Pruitt

By Erin Voegele | May 15, 2018

In a press conference May 15, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, discussed the timeline for year-round E15 sales and threatened to call on EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to resign if he doesn’t carry out President Trump’s commitment to the Renewable Fuel Standard.

During the call, Grassley was asked about proposed changes in how the EPA handles small refiner hardship waivers under the RFS—specifically if he expects to EPA scale back the number of waivers awarded to small refiners and an end to the agency’s current practice of awarding the small refiner waivers to large refiners.    

In response, Grassley said, “They better, or I’m going to be calling on Pruitt to resign, because I’m done playing around with this.”

Grassley referenced a speech Trump made in January 2016 at an event held by the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association in which he said the EPA should ensure that the RFS renewable volume obligations (RVOs) should match statutory levels set by congress.

While Grassley indicated the Trump administration’s recent commitment to year-round sales of E15 and abandoning efforts to implement a price cap on renewable identification numbers (RINs) are “very much a positive” he also noted that improperly handled waivers could undo the benefits of year-round E15 sales. “I’m sick and tired of messing around with this anymore,” Grassley said. “Trump was elected with an agenda. Pruitt was not elected and its Pruitt’s job to carry out the Trump agenda.”

Grassley was also asked about the timing of the Trump administration’s plan to allow year-round E15 sales. He said that while the EPA said they would try to make the change applicable for this summer, the agency couldn’t make any promises.

Also during the call, Grassley was asked about the EPA’s plan to make the RIN market more transparent. Grassley said he doesn’t see a need for a public comment period on the issue of RIN transparency, noting he believes that Pruitt has the authority to make the RIN market more transparent. Grassley also said the Commodity Futures Trading Commission should weigh in on the issue.